The Grapple At Southampton Guildhall
Images courtesy of DavidOakleyPhotography.co.uk
|On Sunday evening, one night after Joe Calzaghe provided one of the most exciting moments in British boxing history, the audience at Southampton's Guildhall was privileged to witness an excellent Southern Arena Heavyweight title fight between reigning champion Colin Kenna and challenger Mickey Steeds.|
Along with the main event, there were a selection of excellent undercard bouts to keep the crowd entertained before the big fight. Credit must go to promoter Jack Bishop for putting on such a fine show. First to enter the ring was impressive middleweight Steve Ede from Gosport who took the fight to opponent Anthony Young and won via a third round TKO. Ede, certainly a bright prospect for future, excited the crowd with quick but powerful combos and maintained his unbeaten record, improving to 5-0 (2). Wilson, of Crawley, drops to 1-1 (0).
The crowd then saw the talent of George Katsimpas, already a champion at martial arts. The super middle impressed in his pro debut, knocking out Lee Owen of Swansea, who drops to 1-1 (1), in a scheduled six two minute rounder.
The final support bout was certainly one not for the faint hearted. The contest was between unbeaten prospect Danny Goode and Birmingham's Terry "Brummie Bulldog" Adams. Both men displayed impressive power and excellent fitness in this middleweight bout with Goode hitting the floor with his knee in the fifth. However, the New Milton man came back and slugged it out to a claim a points victory much to the joy of the crowd. Goode climbs to 7-0 (0) while Adams drops to 5-4-1 (2).
After the quality of the previous fights, the crowd was now truly hyped up for the main event.. Champion Colin Kenna came out in his Celtic-like shorts while challenger Michael Steeds entered the ring wearing black and sliver. Both men were clearly up for the fight and the early rounds consisted of Kenna working in behind the jab and Steeds loading up with big punches.
In the third, the champion suffered a cut below the eye and although the damage was not severe enough to threaten the fight, Steeds managed to take advantage of this and rocked the champ with a big right. The man from Southampton did manage to come back big in the fourth with both fighters going inside and all out on the ropes, both landing many clean shots and testing one anothers chins to the limit.
The fifth round again excited the crowd with the challenger blasting Kenna off the ropes as the Irishman tried to get inside and halfway through it appeared about even. The following rounds were perhaps the best seen by the crowd all night with both fighters showing hearts of warriors and chins of granite. For most of the sixth round, Steeds was confined to working off the ropes however came out with an eight punch rally all on target as Kenna went back attempting to counterpunch the man from the Isle of Dogs.
The seventh and eighth frames consisted of the challenger appearing more weary and getting rocked on the ropes a couple of times, however Kenna conserved enough energy to come back later in the rounds. After the eighth, it again appeared to be a very close fight. The final rounds, in which by now most of the crowd were on their feet shouting, was taken by both going toe to toe, however combinations from both men had virtually been eradicated in favor of the famous one - twobig shots.
The final bell sounded and it appeared nobody could predict the winner. As the referee lifted the arm of the challenger, and it was announced the bout was scored by a surprisingly large margin of 98-94 for Steeds. Some of the crowd erupted in joy while others shouted insults at the referee, however it was clear that the contest could of gone either way and both men deserved a victory in all honesty. Michael Steeds climbs to 8-1 (2) while deposed champion Colin Kenna falls to 15-3-2 (7).
The new champion is now scheduled to fight Riddick Bowe later on this month and it is sure that he will be taken very seriously by the ex heavyweight champion of the world. Good luck to both men.
Boxing Photos courtesy of David Oakley Photography.co.uk